NOTES TO CRP’S before you start this lesson –
Trigger alert on page 11, last paragraph
-If your speller is upset about their level of reading motor skills, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be connected to an S2C Practitioner who will guide you in how to teach the ocular motor skills your speller needs to read independently.
-If the speller is upset by limited reading choices and access to books, help formulate a plan to access free audible books and find a sibling or volunteer to read to them.
-If the speller is upset by their limited tolerance for reading OR listening to a book read to them, come up with a plan that improves their tolerance in increments of minutes per reading session.
Have a stack of books with interesting titles handy.
Growing up in INDIA, when I was a tween and teen, no one in my family wanted to own a television. I was one of 9 cousins, and we always spent at least one month of the summer together at my uncle’s house. My oldest and youngest cousins are seven years apart, and the rest of us were a year or two apart. Five girls and four boys. We spent summers at my uncle’s quiet university town, in SURATHKAL, by the INDIAN OCEAN in South India. While we did listen to music, play endless card games and go to the beach, and write and act in plays that our parents watched, most of our time was spent reading books. My cousin KRISHNA was a member of two libraries (libraries are not free in India) and had a secret membership in one more that his parents didn’t know about. Once a week, we would ride the bus for 2 hours each way into MANGALORE, the nearest city, and come back with 60 books from these libraries.
SPELL: SUMMERS SPELL: YOUNGEST
WHICH COUNTRY DID THE AUTHOR GROW UP IN? INDIA
WHAT IS THE TOTAL NUMBER OF COUSINS, INCLUDING THE AUTHOR? 9
WHO HAD A SECRET MEMBERSHIP IN A LIBRARY? KRISHNA
WHAT’S THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF BOOKS THE COUSINS BORROWED FROM EACH LIBRARY EVERY WEEK? 60/3 = 20
NAME AN ACTIVITY THE COUSINS ENGAGED IN OVER THE SUMMER (PLAY CARDS, WRITE AND ACT IN PLAYS, READ BOOKS, GO TO THE BEACH.)
NAME AN ACTIVITY YOU ENJOY IN SUMMER.
VAKT – FIND SURATHKAL ON THE MAP
Holed up as we are under the CORONAVIRUS pandemic isolation, with a lot of time on our hands, I am transported back to the times when we didn’t do much in our summer except spend day after day together in one house, with stacks and stacks of books to read. We would transport ourselves into the lands our books took us. Into the green, rolling DOWNS (low hills) of THE SHIRE, and eat our ELEVENSES, a meal between breakfast and lunch, with FRODO BAGGINS – a HOBBIT (a made-up race of 4-foot tall, human-like people with hairy feet, who live in a burrow like holes, they are loving and brave.) in a book called THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J R TOLKIEN. Or sometimes we would be in a hot and dusty town in the American wild west, witnessing a gunfight with the bad guy and FLINTY (flint is a stone, here it represents a cold, calm expression) eyed SUDDEN, a cowboy and an OUTLAW (someone wanted by the law) and the fastest gun in the west. JAMES GREEN is the name of the character called SUDDEN because he can draw out his gun and shoot very quickly. It is also the name used in the book series written by OLIVER STRANGE.
SPELL: WILD SPELL: TRANSPORT SPELL: STACKS
WHAT VIRUS HAS US AT HOME? CORONAVIRUS
WHY ARE WE HOLED UP IN OUR HOMES? CORONAVIRUS ISOLATION/PANDEMIC
WHAT IS THE MEAL BETWEEN BREAKFAST AND LUNCH? ELEVENSES
WHAT ARE ELEVENSES? A MEAL/A MEAL BETWEEN BREAKFAST AND LUNCH
HOW IS THE SHIRE DESCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR? GREEN, ROLLING DOWNS
WHO IS THE AUTHOR OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS? J R TOLKIEN
NAME A LOCATION THE AUTHOR IS TRANSPORTED TO. THE SHIRE, A HOT AND DUSTY TOWN
WHICH BOOK’S SETTING WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO BE TRANSPORTED TO?
Books weren’t just for reading, though. We had other uses for them. Back in school, my classmates GURU and RAM, who sat behind me, would sit with their TEXTBOOKS (books that were about the subject being taught) on the table while the teacher taught and played a vigorous game of BOOK CRICKET. Cricket is a complicated game that originated in ENGLAND –two sides of eleven players take turns to bat and BOWL (pitch). In book cricket, you have two players. When it’s your turn to play, you open the book to any page. The page number on the right side page is your score. Page numbers with two digits or more have the number in the unit’s place as your score. So, if you open the book to page 412, your score is 2. If you open the book to a page number that ends in a zero, you are out, and it is your partner’s turn to play. It was a game that GURU and RAM took to a fine art form, escaping undetected by most teachers.
WHERE DID THE AUTHOR’S CLASSMATES SIT? BEHIND HER
WHERE DID CRICKET ORIGINATE? ENGLAND
NAME ONE OF HER CLASSMATES. GURU, RAM
NAME SOMETHING THE CRICKET PLAYERS TAKE TURNS DOING. BAT, BOWL
WHAT AMERICAN GAME SOUNDS LIKE CRICKET? BASEBALL
DESCRIBE HOW A SCORE IS MADE IN BOOK CRICKET AND HOW YOU ARE OUT
VAKT – PLAY A COUPLE OF ROUNDS OF BOOK CRICKET!
Another thing to do when you are cooped up at home is to create a book, SPINE poetry. The spine of the book (look at the ANATOMY of a book in the visual below) always carries the title of the book in a large and visible font. This is a
CONVENTION (practice) from the days that books have been stacked upright or sideways, with their spines out, on shelves in bookstores and libraries. As kids, we would wander around the house and pick out interesting titles. Then we would stack them together and make them sound as poetic as possible. Here are a few samples.
SPELL: ANATOMY SPELL: SHELVES
WHAT KIND OF POETRY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT? BOOK SPINE
WHAT DO YOU FIND ON THE SPINE OF THE BOOK? TITLE
WHAT KIND OF FONTS DO YOU SEE ON THE SPINES OF BOOKS? LARGE, VISIBLE
NAME A PLACE THAT I MENTIONED WHERE YOU USUALLY SEE BOOKS STACKED LIBRARY, A BOOKSTORE
VAKT- MAKE YOUR OWN BOOK SPINE POETRY WITH A SET OF BOOKS TO CHOOSE FROM VAKT – USING THE VISUAL ABOVE – GO OVER THE ANATOMY OF A PHYSICAL BOOK
When our cousins were apart, we stayed in touch with each other by writing long handwritten letters. This was pre-email, and phone calls between cities, called long-distance calls, were expensive. Our passion for books showed up in our letters as well. Since we often owned the same books and sometimes the entire series in a collection, we wrote in CODE to each other. We picked a book that we both owned, and we would use a code that would use page, paragraph, line, and a word’s position in a line to indicate a word. For example, in this paragraph, I would indicate the word ‘series’ by giving you the number 51. ( 5th line, 1st word in that line.) The entire letter wouldn’t be in code, but we had key sentences in code. I
wish I had kept those letters to look at now. Years later, I read a book called THE CURSE OF CHALION by LOIS MCMASTER BUJOLD, where the princess and her trusted CHANCELLOR (a high-ranking court member) on a secret mission for her used this exact same code to send secret messages to each other.
SPELL: PASSION SPELL: COUSIN
WHAT IS THE ELECTRONIC FORM OF SENDING LETTERS? EMAIL
HOW DID THE COUSINS STAY IN TOUCH? BY LETTER/BY HANDWRITTEN LETTER
WHAT ARE PHONE CALLS BETWEEN CITIES CALLED? LONG DISTANCE CALLS
NAME ONE ELEMENT OF A BOOK THE CODE USES PAGE NUMBER, PARAGRAPH
NUMBER, LINE NUMBER, POSITION OF THE WORD IN A LINE
NAME A CHARACTER WHO USES THE CODE IN THE BOOK THE CURSE OF CHALION PRINCESS, CHANCELLOR
HOW WOULD YOU ADAPT THE LETTER BOARD INTO A CODE?
VAKT- HANDWRITE A SENTENCE WITH YOUR CRP’S SUPPORT
Once I became an S2C practitioner, and I know what a thirst for learning the spellers I partner with have, I’ve been lucky enough to read many books together with them. I am going to tell you something that might heighten your own emotions. Every reader is different, and every speller uses a different way to navigate the motor skills needed for reading or the regulation needed to listen as someone reads out loud. Some learn the OCULAR (relating to eyes) MOTOR skills needed to read a book – physical or on a device, and some prefer to be read to. Wherever you are in your motor or regulation skills, enjoy the process, and remember doing a little a day goes a very long way to getting where you want to be. In ESCAPADES (an act requiring daring or adventure) with my spellers, I’ve learned from my mistakes. With a young adult whom I still work with, I picked a book called SARAH, PLAIN, and TALL by PATRICIA MACLACHLAN because we were studying the history of the western expansion in the United States in the mid-18th to 19th century. This speller refused to read the book because he was 18, and the reading level recommendation for that book was Grade 3. Even though it was a
NEWBERY award winner. Newbery is an award given out by the AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION annually to writers who contribute to children’s LITERATURE.
SPELL: PRACTITIONER SPELL: LITERATURE
WHAT KIND OF PRACTITIONER DID THE AUTHOR BECOME? S2C
WHAT DO SPELLERS THIRST FOR, ACCORDING TO THE AUTHOR? LEARNING
WHAT KIND OF BOOKS RECEIVE THE NEWBERY AWARD? CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
WHICH CENTURIES DID THE AMERICAN EXPANSION WESTWARD OCCUR? MID 18TH TO MID 19TH CENTURY
NAME A FORM THAT YOU CAN READ A BOOK IN – PHYSICAL, ON A DEVICE.
WHY DOES THE SPELLER THIS AUTHOR IS TALKING ABOUT REJECT THE BOOK, SARAH – PLAIN AND TALL?
I did plead my case that I still love and read children’s and young adult books to this day. But to someone whose competence had been questioned for a very long time, my choices are not relevant. We read. Instead, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, by KEN KESEY. Since that time, I’ve enjoyed many books with my spellers. The speller who I just told you about, who has now read many books, was happy to have A LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE by LAURA INGALLS read to him because he decided he wanted to catch up on CLASSICS (something of established value) most people have read in their childhood. Happily, he is now at a place where he is comfortable choosing any book he wants to read. He feels he doesn’t have to prove his competence by picking only a certain type of book. Books are an open book to him (haha – joke!). I, on the other hand, explore options with my spellers before they pick the book they want to read. A good place to explore what you want to read – it on a site called GOODREADS.COM. Your best bet is to ask other readers for recommendations. I still ask my cousins what they are reading. And for those of you who prefer reading in different forms, there are so many blogs to choose from. There is one for every interest. For example, if you are interested in nature photography, just put the phrase ‘best nature photography blog’ in GOOGLE or any other search engine, and the links to the blogs will come up for you.
SPELL: HOUSE SPELL: CUCKOO
WHICH BOOK DID THE SPELLER END UP READING INSTEAD OF SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL? ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST
WHO IS THE AUTHOR OF A LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE? LAURA INGALLS
WHAT KIND OF BOOK IS A LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE? CLASSIC, CHILDHOOD CLASSIC
NAME A KIND OF BOOK THE AUTHOR STILL LOVES TO READ CHILDREN’S BOOKS, YOUNG ADULT BOOKS
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE IDIOM BOOKS ARE AN OPEN BOOK TO HIM MEANS?
VAKT: TYPE GOODREADS.COM INTO GOOGLE OR BING ON A DEVICE AND LOOK THROUGH THE WEBSITE.
It’s not possible to end the lesson without talking about at least one book that I’ve enjoyed reading with a speller. So here it is. QUAKING by KATHRYN ERSKINE. It
has a female PROTAGONIST (lead character) called Matt-Matilda, who is 14? Matt is closed off to making new relationships and dresses like a GOTH. That’s a subculture that dresses in black and wears black eyeliner, black lipstick, and black nail polish. She has been placed in multiple foster homes, had an abusive father, and lost her mother. The book begins as she is placed in a new foster family with SAM and JESSICA FOX. They are calm and loving and respond to Matt’s hostility and silence with love. They are QUAKERS (a religious order), and you learn a lot about their beliefs and how they stand up for peace. The book is set in 2002/2003 when a passion for revenge and war sweeps their community. Being anti-war is seen as being unpatriotic. Matt’s new family is in danger because they are activists in the peace movement against war. A boy who is bullying Matt in school could be a part of this. The book is about standing up for one’s beliefs and about love. A lovely inspiring story with a Matt you all want to be like.
SPELL: GOTH SPELL: CHARACTER
WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE AUTHOR OF QUAKING? KATHRYN ERSKINE
WHICH COUNTRY IS AMERICA AT WAR WITH? IRAQ
WHAT IS THE NAME OF MATT’S NEW FOSTER PARENTS? SAM AND JESSICA FOX
NAME A STYLE CONVENTION THAT I MENTIONED THAT GOTHS USE TO DRESS BLACK CLOTHES, BLACK NAIL POLISH, BLACK EYELINER, BLACK LIPSTICK
WHY IS MATT’S NEW FAMILY IN DANGER? THE COMMUNITY THEY LIVE IN IS FOR AMERICA’S WAR IN IRAQ WHILE THEY ARE STANDING UP FOR PEACE. THE COMMUNITY DISAGREES ABOUT WAR.
VAKT – FIND BLACK CLOTHING AND BLACK MAKEUP, AND EXPERIMENT WITH DRESSING LIKE A GOTH
PICK A BOOK YOU’VE READ. CHANGE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING: THE LEAD CHARACTERS AGE OR GENDER, THE SETTING, OR A PLOT POINT. WRITE ABOUT HOW ANY CHANGE YOU MAKE CHANGES THE BOOK.